MikroTik is a popular tech company known for providing affordable network solutions in emerging markets. With its RouterOS operating system offering Internet connectivity to millions of people worldwide, there are generally few complaints with MikroTik’s intuitive and straightforward routers.
However, like any type of Internet router, networks can become bogged down when too many devices are connected to the network. Therefore, it is a good idea to limit bandwidth so that each device is using a reasonable share of the network. While this may seem complicated, I have discovered the following simple steps to limit bandwidth on MikroTik.
Install Winbox on Your Computer
Winbox is a small and simple administration system that allows users to configure MikroTik RouterOS. If you have not already downloaded Winbox as part of your MikroTik router installation, it is important to get this utility up and running so you can easily configure your bandwidth settings.
Open Winbox and Connect to Network
Once Winbox is installed on your computer, open the application. A box will pop up titled “MikroTik Winbox Loader.” Make sure all of the data in the fields look correct and click “Connect.”
Click on Queues in the Menu
Once connected to the network, the MikroTik Winbox interface will pop up on your computer screen. This interface will contain a menu on the left-hand side of the box. About halfway down the menu, locate “Queues” on the list and click on it.
Locate the Simple Queues Tab
Once inside the queues interface, there will be several tabs at the top of the screen. By default, the interface should open to the tab titled “Simple Queues.” However, if one of the other options is selected, make sure that you are actively operating under the “Simple Queues” tab, as creating simple queues is the most straightforward way of limiting the bandwidth of the devices connected to your network.
Add the Necessary Simple Queues
Beneath the “Simple Queues” tab, there is a red button containing a “+” sign. Click on this button to start adding simple queues and limiting bandwidth, using the following steps:
- Name the queue. Under the general tab for your simple queues, give the bandwidth queue a name in the appropriate field. This can be anything you desire–just something to identify the queue for the specific device.
- Specify the target address. Beneath the name field is a field titled “Address.” This is where you will type the IP address your device uses to connect to the Internet. This is generally easy to find by clicking on the Internet icon on your computer’s lower task ribbon, but specific steps to locate the IP address can be found here.
- Set the bandwidth limits for your device. By default, your MikroTik router will be set to unlimited bandwidth. While this makes for fast Internet when few devices are in use, it can really start to bog down when a bunch of devices are used simultaneously. Use the dropdown menu on the Winbox interface to set the bandwidth to the desired level. Be sure to set limits for both uploads and downloads.
- Review the new settings. After you have changed the bandwidth for your desired device, click OK, located in the upper right-hand corner of the interface. This will take you to review the new bandwidth settings displaying queue name, IP address, and bandwidth limits. If everything checks out, click the “+” box again to start creating more queues.
- Repeat the process. You will use the same steps listed above to limit the bandwidth of all desired devices that will be connected in your household. Be sure to give each queue a unique name and verify the correct IP address for each device. Remember, every device has a unique IP address to connect to the network, so be sure not to copy and paste the same IP address for each of your new queues.
Check the Connectivity of Your Devices
Once you have limited the bandwidth of the devices connected to your MikroTik router, it is important to check the connectivity and see how well the new settings are functioning.
While limiting bandwidth is a good idea so that one device is not hogging all of the Internet connectivity and slowing things down for everyone else, some devices will require more bandwidth than others. For example, streaming live videos requires a ton of bandwidth (sometimes up to 10mbps for HD!) but relatively little bandwidth to simply browse the Internet.
Therefore, it is a good idea to create a bandwidth hierarchy to make sure your higher-need devices–such as those used for important work conferences–are getting priority over lesser used devices used for simple entertainment.
When making this hierarchy, be sure to review how much bandwidth you have purchased as part of your Internet plan so that you can allocate bandwidth on your MikroTik router appropriately.
MikroTik provides high-quality network devices at an affordable price, specifically in the realm of Internet routers. While the functionality of these devices is top-notch, the network can sometimes start moving slow when too many devices are connected. To help remedy this issue, use the steps mentioned above to limit the bandwidth on MikroTik.